MY TOP 10 TIPS FOR DISNEY JUNIOR : HOW TO HELP YOUR LITTLE ONE BECOME MORE CONFIDENT
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Posted by: Sue Atkins
As you know I do regular Facebook Live Parenting Hack Tea Parties for Disney Junior which is something I absolutely love doing answering all your niggles, worries or problems live every 1st Tuesday of the month over on Disney Junior UK at 11 am.
The next one is on Tuesday 3rd March at 11 am – do join us and tell all your friends and family that I’m ready to answer any questions free from finger pointing, judgementment or tut – ting!
1. First role model
You are your child’s first role model and you play a major part in developing, nurturing and building your child’s confidence, their self-esteem and, in the long term, their self-belief.
I see your job as a parent similar to being a gardener – where you sow seeds of confidence through nurturing, watering and feeding your growing child’s self-esteem through the words that you use, the actions that you take and the love and encouragement you give them.
Try not to label your little ones. You should avoid labelling them with words such as “shy” or “nervous”. Labels have a way of sticking and all too often can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. A better way to describe the word ‘shy’ is to put “feel” in front of it. We all “feel shy” or ‘’nervous’’ sometimes, and remember this isn’t forever – as your child grows and has more experiences they also grow in confidence.
Young children don’t yet understand the skills they need for friendship, like sharing, taking turns and solving problems. As they are egocentric or self-centred at this age.
You can help your toddler start learning and practising these skills by spending time playing together and helping them to share things with their brothers & sisters. Through play, you can show them how to be a good friend and play well with others.
Try taking turns to add blocks to a tower or to sharing a ball, and prompt your child by saying ‘My turn’ and ‘Your turn’. So, they learn about taking turns and sharing. Say things like ‘Oooh it’s time for your brother to have a turn with playing with the lorry now.’
You can also use toys like teddies to help your child learn friendship skills. Use the teddies to take turns, share toys and look after their teddy friends and when your child takes turns or shares something, give them lots of praise and big smiles.
4. Acknowledge their confidence
If you notice your toddler trying something new, praise them for being brave and giving it a go. For example, if your toddler is at a party, and decides to join in ‘Pass-the-Parcel’ give them a big hug and smile and acknowledge that they joined in despite feeling unsure. This builds their ‘have a go muscle’ and their ‘Can Do Kid’ attitude for next time.
5. Let your child do things for themselves
Don’t overprotect your little one as you rob them of the opportunity to feel independent and capable. Be sensitive about how much you encourage your toddler to do something for themselves, like pulling on their wellies or doing up their zip. Don’t rush in to rescue them too soon as this can lead to a lack of inclination to do things for themselves.
6. Let your toddler make decisions
Toddlers love to feel independent so by offering them limited choices in small things you are building their confidence muscles. So, try saying ‘Do you want to wear your blue or green jumper today?’ It’s implied that it’s cold outside and they need to wear a jumper but this gives them a sense of control and that helps boost their confidence and self-esteem.
7. The Gift of TIME
Find the time to give your toddler your undivided attention, without their siblings or anyone else around to distract you. Take a walk together or have some one-to-one time making cakes or playing together. This does wonders for your child’s self-worth because it sends the message that you think your child is important. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time. It means taking a moment to stop reading your email on your mobile phone when your little one is trying to talk to you, or turning off the TV long enough to answer a question. Make eye contact so it’s clear that you’re really listening to what they’re saying. It makes them feel special.
8. Make success easy
Get a stool so your child can easily wash their hands and brush their teeth at the sink. Find a place for their toys and books that is within their reach so they can get things for themselves, as well as put things away for themselves too – as this builds their confidence in their own ability to take care of themselves. Buy clothes that are easy to put on and take off. By giving your child the resources to take care of their own needs, you’ll foster independence and pride in their ability to do things for themselves.
9. Accept your child’s strong emotions
When your toddler throws a colossal tantrum because it’s time to leave the playground, try your best to see it from their point of view. To a toddler, leaving the park may feel like the end of the world.
Help your child to get comfortable with their strong emotions by labelling them. Say, “I understand you’re sad because we have to leave the playground.” By accepting their emotions without judgment, you are acknowledging their feelings and showing them that you value how they feel. A child who feels heard, feels understood and loved for who they are.
10. Resist comparisons
Avoid making comments such as, “Why can’t you be nice like Susie?” These kinds of remarks just make your toddler feel bad about themselves.
If you let your child know that you love and appreciate them for being their own unique, individual selves rather than how they compare to others, they’ll be more likely to value themselves too.